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  •  Most Coal Comes from Surface Mines - (2+ / 0-)
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    SomeStones, jlms qkw

    An additional reason for safety issues in underground mines -
    As well as pressures for mountaintop removal in Appalachia -
    Is that underground mines have much higher costs per ton of mined coal.

    Worker safety has been compromised in all industreis under Bush.
    The nonunionized surface mines in the West have significant safety issues, too.

    Still, I think it important for people to realize that when they turn on the light switch, most of the power is coming from western low-sulfur coal mined in surface operations. Almost half of all coal mined in the U.S. comes from one area in Wyoming - the Powder River Basin.  Its coal is used almost exclusively for electric generation.  

    This does not detract from the safety issues faced by all coal miners.  However, the economic center of coal mining has been west of the Mississippi for a generation.

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